It is often advised that we need to connect with our loyal clients on social media platforms, to increase the engagement. However, it is a risky situation and you need to be very cautious. Your social media account is often heavily personalized, which shows your interests, hobbies and opinions. If you can’t maintain a respectable and professional appearance on social media at all times, you should avoid social media interaction with clients entirely. It is likely that clients will start to see you in a different light after they engage you through social media. Behind your formality and professionalism at the workplace, they will know what you normally do during the weekend and what your personal opinion on different matters is.
You should determine, whether it is necessary for clients to have a sneak peek on things behind your curtain of professionalism. It can be argued that you need to humanize any relationship and you will gain many benefits from it. However, you should know that personal life and work are separate entities. Clients are people who you know in your professional circles, it is rare that you are able to include them in your personal life. If you want to connect with clients across social media platforms, you may need to make huge changes. You can’t post anything unprofessional or inappropriate. There are things in your social media walls that could be offensive to clients, especially if they belong to a different culture or live in a distant country.
It is true that clients are human too and they can also post a few unprofessional things in their own social media accounts. However, you don’t buy anything from them and as a seller, you rely more on your reputation. The typical vacation photos with your family are a good thing, but it is possible that you won’t be able to maintain the overall professional appearance consistently. In many cases, there are no direct benefits for interacting with clients on social media level. In fact, you may end up making the situation riskier. So, you should never be the initiator of having connections at the social media level.
However, there are cases where clients want to interact with you in social media. When it happens, there’s no choice but to become more careful with what you post. It would be safer if you include a disclaimer saying that all those social media posts are yours alone and don’t necessarily reflect your views on clients. It means that anything you say in social media account isn’t directed to clients. It is also a good thing to adjust the privacy settings and designate some posts only for people that you trust.
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